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I have a windows xp profession sp2 machine which is my corporate desktop, I do all my development on it. I have to reboot it every 3-4 days because slowly crss.exe starts eating more and more cpu, and as it must have something to do with the GUI, the whole interface slows down and becomes unusable. I've searched the web to no avail. It doesn't use 100% cpu, it becomes unusable long before that.

Anybody ever see this one?

The IT guys here gave it a looksee but they had no idea so they gave up.

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3 Answers

Use Procmon from Sysinternals to see what crss.exe is doing when it's using excessive CPU. There are many things that could be going on, but Procmon should point you in the right direction.

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Process explorer might be better, allows you to identify which module is in error, where its stuck in the stack, memory/net/etc.. (doesn't stream past like a log-viewer, more like task-manager with better options!)

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx

MS kb/555021 suggests your profile might be corrupt, try creating a new one.

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I've always run process explorer, and that's how I know it's crss.exe that's hurting me. What more can I get from it. The detail pane on the bottom just has file handles and thread lists, it doesn't show a detail of usage. Is there more to this tool than I know? –  Stu Feb 23 '10 at 19:22
    
Try pausing a process and inspecting, or checking which module is loaded in which thread inside the process.. if necessary you can pause/kill individual threads too.. view the current stack for each etc.. just double click on a process, the resulting properties box is full of useful stuff! Including graphs of IO/RAM/CPU etc.. You can compare the version that is resident to the image. Check out the "Select Columns" box.. soo much more info than TaskManager! Won't solve the problem, but might help find the cause. –  Grizly Feb 24 '10 at 7:44
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High CPU usage in crss.exe used to be a sign of virus infection back in the days before service pack 2. You may want to check your installed from a known clean system. chkdsk /f c: while you're at it to ensure you don't have any filesystem corruption.

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